General Joseph Martin Chapter

Cumberland Gap, TN


Cumberland Gap Patriot

Daniel Higdon

Daniel Higdon was born  in Chatham county Nc on August 1, 1757. In 1771, Higdon along with his father and brothers joined the Regulator Rangers and participated in the battle of Alamance Nc during the War of Regulation.
     The War of Regulation was a local Nc  war that started when the Nc government under Governor William Tryon seized property after placing such high property taxes on them that the majority of citizens couldnt pay them.
 The Regulators were soon defeated by Tryon and the Nc militia during the battle of Alamance on May 16, 1771.
    In May 1780, Higdon joined the Nc militia to fight in the revolutionary war. higdon participated in several battles such as Ramsour Mill Nc( June 20, 1780), Camden Sc( August 16,1780), Kings Mountain Sc( October 7,1780),Guilford Courthouse NC( March 15,1781), Ninety Six Sc( May- June 1781), Lindley Mill NC, (September ,1781).
  In his pension, Higdon talks about Camden and Kings Mountain more than any of the other battles.Out of respect for this patriot , we will also.
 At Camden( August 16, 1780), Higdon witnessed one of the worst defeats  that the continental army would face during the war. During this battle nearly 2000 Nc mlitia fled the battle after facing a british Bayonet charge for the first time. Higdon's regiment was one of the Nc Militia regiments that didnt flee. Instaed they faced 3 bayonet charges  from the British before they were dispersed.Over 100 Nc militia men were killed Thirteen percent of the American militia was either killed or captured.. It is also ironic that the Nc Militia of the Continental line would face over 400 Nc loyalists who fought for the British that day.
    Higdon also talks about the death of Johann Dekalb, leader of the American Continental army at Camden in his pension. Dekalb was shot 11 times,and bayoneted in the chest, but the British still couldnt kill him. The British surrounded Dekalb ,and were getting ready to bayonet him several times when Cornwallis rode up and stopped them. Cornwallis stated "Dekalb was the bravest soldier he ever fought against,and shouldnt die  in this matter". Dekalb died 3 days later in a British hospital
 At Kings Mountain( October 7, 1780), Higdon was apart of Col. James Williams regiment. Williams almost didnt participate in the battle of Kings mountain because he was angered that he didnt get comand of the expedition that was awarded to William Campbell. Williams finally conceded and said  to his men when they arrived at kings Mountain"Come on my boys. This old Wagoner hasnt backed out of a fight yet"
    During the battle, Higdon witnessed something he had never seen before in a battle.  A Tory soldier  by the name of  Matthew Mcmay who was only fighting for Ferguson because he was told he would be hanged if he didnt, saw a person he knew fighting for the Overmountainmen by the name of Thomas Young. Mcmay ran through the  smoke and bullets and hugged Young as hard as he could. Young  shouted ' Glad to see you too, but  get back over to your side and fight like a man". Mcmay ran back and hid in the bushes until the battle was over.
 During the battle of Kings Mountain, Higdon witnessed the death of his commander James Williams. Williams had his horse shot out from under him and  was shot again  during a charge. When his men saw that he was mortally wounded, they began to retreat down the mountain. Williams shouted" Come back here, For God's sake Don't give up this mountain.  The overmoutainmen won a great victory that day because of men like col. James Williams.
     After the war Higdon, moved to Muskogee county Ga, where he was killed In 1836 during a Creek Indian uprising.  

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